Today's Google Trends: Skip Gates and Sgt. Crowley—Long-Lost Cousins?

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
July 29 2009 11:09 AM

Today's Google Trends: Skip Gates and Sgt. Crowley—Long-Lost Cousins?

If we are what we Google, then Google Hot Trends —an hourly rundown of search terms "that experience sudden surges in popularity"—is the Web's best cultural barometer. Here's a sampling of today's top searches. (Rankings on Hot Trends list current as of 9 a.m.)

No. 7: "Rorschach Wikipedia." Weirdly-shaped blobs throw Wikipedia into chaos! Last month, an emergency-room physician posted all 10 plates of the famous Rorschach Inkblot tests to Wikipedia, which some psychologists claim will make them ineffective, nulling years of valuable research. Wikipedians are waving the banner of free speech: "The APA it seems want to keep what they do a secret. Allowing them to carry this out on Wikipedia amounts to allowing them to censor Wikipedia content," wrote Heilman on the page's massive discussion section .  (As of this writing, all 10 plates remain on the page .)

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No. 15: "Niall of the Nine Hostages." Medieval Irish king, only son of Eochaid Muighmedon, fearless warrior ...  progenitor of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and the cop who arrested him? According to ABC News , both Gates—who is part Irish—and his arresting officer, Sgt. James Crowley, trace their lineage back to the 4th century king Niall of the Nine Hostages . (Researchers have found that one in 12 Irish men share genes with the king.) Only time will tell if these sons of Niall shall settle their differences at the bar stool with Obama.

No. 31: "Chester Himes." Chester Himes, the crime novelist and author of If He Hollers Let Him Go would have turned 100 today. Himes began writing while a prisoner in the 1930s and went on to become one of the more accomplished black writers of the 20 th century. Set in a gritty 1960s New York, the nine books in his Harlem Detective series follow hardboiled NYPD sleuths Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson. "I put the slang, the daily routine, and complex human relationships of Harlem into my detective novels," Himes said, according to NPR .

Adrian Chen is a freelance writer and an editor at The New Inquiry.

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